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Government Employee Pensions May Now Be Fair Game for Cuts During Bankruptcy Restructuring

On Tuesday, December 2, 2013, Judge Steven Rhodes of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that the City of Detroit, which filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on July 18, 2013, met the…more

Chapter 9, Municipal Bankruptcy, Municipalities, Pensions, Public Employees

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Keep Your Eye On the Ball: Begin 2014 With a Renewed Effort at Compliance

While most of the financial world has been focused on the new CFPB mortgage rules that went into effect on January 10, the Bureau has continued its enforcement activities in other areas. On January 16, 2013, the CFPB announced…more

CFPB, Chief Compliance Officers, Client Referrals, Compliance, Enforcement

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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - Marriott Fined $600,000 For Wi-Fi Jamming - Franchisor Liability for Franchisee Employment Decisions: The NLRB’s General Counsel Addresses the Move to Expand the Joint-Employer Standard, and…more

Consent Decrees, Corporate Fines, Fast-Food Industry, Franchises, Hiring & Firing

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Power Company Plans to Capture Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Sell for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Cost overruns at a controversial coal-gasification plant under construction in Kemper County, Mississippi apparently have cost the CEO of Mississippi Power Company his job. Ed Day recently resigned and has been replaced by G…more

Carbon Capture and Sequestration, CEOs, Coal, Coal-Gasification, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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OCS Operators and Lenders Beware - Comment Period Ending on BOEM Risk Management, Financial Assurance and Loss Prevention Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Monday, November 17, 2014, is the last day to provide comments to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in connection with its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) with respect to risk management, financial…more

BOEM, Department of the Interior, Leases, Mineral Leases, NOPR

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Man Convicted of Forcing Foreign Nurses to Work in U.S. Nursing Homes

A Colorado businessman was convicted last month by a federal jury in Denver on 89 counts including mail fraud, visa fraud, human trafficking and money laundering…more

Criminal Prosecution, Fraud, Human Trafficking, Mail Fraud, Money Laundering

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Sink or Swim as Oil Prices Continue to Fall

As Warren Buffett once wrote in a 2002 letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., "you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out." Well, the tide is going out for many in the oil and gas industry…more

Baker Hughes, Halliburton, Oil & Gas

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When the Minimum is Not Enough: Eleventh Circuit Rules that Lenders May Require Borrowers to Obtain More than the Minimum Flood Insurance

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently resolved a district court split regarding minimum flood insurance coverage by holding that a lender may require a borrower who has a federally-insured mortgage…more

Corporate Counsel, FEMA, FHA, Flood Insurance, Government-Guaranteed Loans

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Weigh In with Comments on CMS Proposed Rule for Medicare IRP by June 28

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule entitled "Medicare Program; Requirements for the Medicare Incentive Reward Program and Provider Enrollment" on April 29, 2013. This proposed rule,…more

CMS, Medicare, Proposed Regulation, Public Comment, ZPIC

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Managing Regulatory Risk in Nursing Home-Hospice Arrangements

Challenges of Nursing Home-Hospice Arrangements. As a nursing home resident's life expectation sunsets, transfer of the resident from the restorative care of a skilled nursing facility (SNF) to the palliative care of a hospice…more

Hospice, Nursing Homes

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Challenging the Denial of a Trademark Application in District Court Just Got More Expensive

In Shammas v. Focarino, the Eastern District of Virginia holds that an applicant must pay the government attorney's fees regardless of the applicant's success in a Section 1071(b) civil matter. …more

Applications, Attorney's Fees, Litigation Fees & Costs, Trademark Litigation, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

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Spotlight on Mississippi: Supreme Court Rules on Combined Group Member Tax Credits

The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled against the Mississippi Department of Revenue (Department) in its appeal of a 2012 decision by the Harrison County Chancery Court in favor of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. (Isle of…more

Department of Revenue, State Taxes, Tax Credits

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Florida Law on Assignment of Rents Provisions

A recent bankruptcy decision from a New Jersey Bankruptcy Court (In re Surma, 504 B.R. 770 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2014)) has once again drawn attention to the effect assignment of rents provisions in mortgages can have, depending on…more

Assignment of Rent Clauses, Bankruptcy Code, Consumer Bankruptcy, Mortgages

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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Employers Have Homework: EEO-1 Reports Due September 30TH

Across the country, kids are headed back to school. However, they are not the only ones who have homework to turn in. Employers also have an assignment to complete. Specifically, EEO-1 reports must be filed and certified by…more

EEO-1, EEOC, Reporting Requirements

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Case Study of a CFPB Enforcement Action: In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.; and Chase Bank USA, N.A.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) brought an enforcement action against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and Chase Bank USA, N.A. (collectively, the Bank), pursuant to 12 U.S.C. §§ 5563 and 5565 with regard to their…more

Audits, CFPB, Chase Bank, Civil Monetary Penalty, False Billing

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Bill Introduced to Curtail the Stark Law's In-Office Ancillary Services Exception

On August 1, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2914, the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act. The legislation would provide that the Stark Law's in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception is not available for…more

CMS, Healthcare, HHS, Medical Devices, Medical Expenses

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New HUD Guidance for Long Term Care Industry

On April 25, 2014, HUD issued a new Mortgagee Letter (Mortgagee Letter 2014-06) that implements revised policies with respect to master leases and portfolios for HUD-insured financing of long term care facilities. This letter…more

Commercial Leases, Financing, HUD, Leases, Long Term Care Facilities

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

See All Updates »

Student Loans: The Next CFPB Target?

There is approximately $1 trillion in total outstanding student loan debt in the United States, according to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. With the large amount of student loan debt nationwide as well as on a…more

CFPB, Student Loans

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Supreme Court Finds NLRB Recess Appointments Invalid

In a highly anticipated decision, NLRB v. Noel Canning, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held yesterday that three of President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were invalid because they…more

Canning v NLRB, NLRB, NRLA, Recess Appointments, SCOTUS

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Wait A Minute? Is Pregnancy a Disability Now?

On July 14, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance relating to pregnancy discrimination. Since that time, in federal courts around the country the EEOC has filed multiple lawsuits on behalf of…more

ADA, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, PDA

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Unsexy, Unglamorous Legal Needs Deserve More Pro Bono Attention

During the time I have been managing Baker Donelson's pro bono programs, I've been impressed and gratified to see lawyers and bar associations and groups across the country step up en masse to tackle some very important legal…more

Access To Justice, Law Practice Management, Pro Bono, Young Lawyers

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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - Marriott Fined $600,000 For Wi-Fi Jamming - Franchisor Liability for Franchisee Employment Decisions: The NLRB’s General Counsel Addresses the Move to Expand the Joint-Employer Standard, and…more

Consent Decrees, Corporate Fines, Fast-Food Industry, Franchises, Hiring & Firing

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Implementing An Employee Wellness Program? Be Careful - The EEOC Is Interested

According to recent studies, over 90% of employers offer some type of wellness incentives to their employees. This is a significant jump from 2009 when only a little over half of employers had employee wellness programs, and the…more

Adverse Employment Action, Corporate Counsel, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Enforcement Actions

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August Fracking Roundup

Various news sources are reporting on a coming “re-fracking” boom targeting older, low- or non-producing wells that may benefit from enhanced oilfield recovery techniques. For example, Reuters is reporting that the fast pace of…more

Energy, Fracking, Oil & Gas

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Who is Reading Your Mail? The Florida Condominium Termination Trap

Crowded dockets, understaffed courts, increased foreclosure times, mandatory mediation, trial mortgage modifications, last-minute bankruptcy petitions and litigation tactics, which in far too many instances fell somewhere…more

Condominiums, Foreclosure, Lienholders, Liens, Mortgages

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NLRB General Counsel Office: McDonald's, USA, LLC and Its Franchisees Are Joint Employers

The National Labor Relations Board Office of Public Affairs announced on July 29, 2014 that the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has authorized complaints against McDonalds, USA, LLC (McDonald's) and various…more

Employer Liability Issues, Franchises, Franchisors, Joint Employers, McDonalds

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Supreme Court to Rule on Controversial Right of Rescission Timeline for Mortgages

The Supreme Court agreed this month to resolve a stark divide in the United State Courts of Appeals regarding the time bar for residential mortgage borrowers to file suits related to mortgage loan rescissions under the Truth in…more

CFPB, Dodd-Frank, Jesinoski v Countrywide, Mortgages, Rescission

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$840 Million in Grants From Government Available to Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center intends to award $840 million in grants to test methodologies to improve clinical practices and care. CMS's Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI)…more

CMS, Federal Grants, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, TCPI

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Don't Miss the Deadline to File EEO-1 Reports!

September 30 is the deadline to file the EEO-1 Report, formally known as the Employer Information Report EEO-1. The Reports are filed with the EEOC’s EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee, and they are used, according to the EEOC, to…more

EEO-1, Employer Liability Issues, Filing Deadlines, Filing Requirements

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Update on Covenants Not to Compete

Covenants not to compete can be valuable for an employer. But, as in many areas of employment law, non-compete law is always changing. Below are some issues for employers to consider, as well as some recent court developments…more

Employer Liability Issues, Non-Compete Agreements, Restrictive Covenants

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Lender Involved Condemnation Part 2: Lender Concerns in Condemnation

This is the second installment in a series of articles related to lender-involved condemnations. The first installment provided a basic discussion of eminent domain and condemnation principles…more

Condemnation, Eminent Domain, Lenders, Risk Management, Takings

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CFPB Demonstrates its Broad Scope

While it has only just begun its third year, the CFPB has already left its mark with a series of recent enforcement actions. Below are four examples of how the CFPB has wielded the broad scope of its mandate…more

Bonuses, Capital One, CFPB, Debt-Relief Industry, Enforcement Actions

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NLRB Takes Aim at Non-Union Employers

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently handed down a series of decisions that challenged the fundamental tenet of the employee-employer relationship: at-will employment. This new affront came on the heels of a…more

At-Will Employment, Confidentiality, Internal Investigations, NLRA, NLRB

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Reviewing Courts' Approaches to State or Local Control of Hydraulic Fracturing

While many debates over hydraulic fracturing continue throughout the oil and gas industry, a growing number of state courts are addressing the "home rule" argument, or in this case, whether local governments within the state…more

Fracking, Home Rule States, Municipalities, Oil & Gas, Popular

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North Carolina Legislators Look to Criminalize Disclosure of Fracking Fluids

As many states and the federal government look towards calling for greater disclosure and regulation of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, state senators in North Carolina appear to be pushing against the tide in…more

Chemicals, Disclosure Requirements, Energy, Environmental Liability, Fracking

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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Texas Supreme Court Reinforces that Subcontractors May be Liable to Property Owners

On August 22, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that both the trial court and the court of appeals improperly dismissed a property owner's claim for negligence against a subcontractor for improper plumbing installation in…more

Breach of Duty, Contractors, Duty of Care, Negligence, Property Owners

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New York and Colorado Confirm Local Governments' Rights to Ban Fracking

On Monday, June 30, the highest courts in both New York and Colorado confirmed local municipalities' rights to regulate land use within their jurisdictions. The New York State Court of Appeals upheld two towns' bans on shale gas…more

Fracking, Fracking Bans, Natural Gas, Oil & Gas, Shale Gas

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President Obama Signs Several Bills Aimed at Cybersecurity

On December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed several significant cybersecurity bills into law. These bills include the Federal Information Security Modernization Act, the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act, the…more

Barack Obama, Cybersecurity, New Legislation, Popular

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Mississippi's New Construction Lien Law

On Friday, April 11, 2014, Governor Bryant signed Senate Bill 2622 and thus made that bill the new construction lien law, effective immediately, applicable to public, private and residential construction works in Mississippi. We…more

Construction Disputes, Construction Liens

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FTC Ordered to Testify Regarding Data Security Standards in LabMD Dispute

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has suffered a significant setback in its ongoing dispute with LabMD, a now-closed medical laboratory that the FTC charged with failing to adopt reasonable data security practices that resulted…more

Data Breach, Data Protection, Electronic Medical Records, Enforcement Actions, FTC

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Sin of Omission: Ninth Circuit Splits with the Fifth, Finds That Failure to Include Addendum No. 2 Creates Ambiguity in Marine Builder's Risk Policy

In a marine builder's risk policy coverage dispute decided under Washington state law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a grant of summary judgment for Underwriters…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Reversal, Summary Judgment, Underwriting, Vessels

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ESOPs: The Tax Law Provides a Buyer for Your Business

As baby boomer business owners begin to retire, many will want to monetize the value they have created in their businesses. An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is one alternative. The ESOP alternative, authorized by the…more

401k, C-Corporation, ESOP, IRC, Retirement Plan

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Governor Jindal Signs Bill Aimed at Ending Suit by Levee Board

On June 6, 2014, by signing into law SB 469, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took an aggressive step towards stymieing the lawsuit recently filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil and gas…more

New Legislation, Oil & Gas, Utilities Sector

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A Recent State Supreme Court Ruling Opens the Door for Breach of Privacy Claims Against Health Care Providers

It has long been established that there was no private right of action with regard to HIPAA. All providers must be aware that state courts are beginning to turn the tide regarding such liability. On November 11, 2014, the…more

Corporate Counsel, Health Care Providers, HIPAA, Negligence, Patient Confidentiality Breaches

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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Tennessee's Healthy Workplace Act: Extending Protection Beyond the Federal Protected Class

In the employment context, abuse suffered by employees in the workplace occurs more frequently than one would believe. According to a February 2014 survey from the Workplace Bullying Institute, 27% of Americans have suffered…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, Hostile Environment, New Legislation, Workplace Bullying

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HHS: Providers May Be Able to Subsidize Premiums For Uninsured in Marketplace Plans

An announcement October 30 from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could remove the first hurdle for providers wishing to offer premium support for individuals eligible for health insurance on the Health…more

Affordable Care Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges, Healthcare

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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Bills and Cases and Executive Orders, Oh my! Following the Road to LGBT Equal Protection

This summer has been hot in temperature, but also in topics especially when it comes to balancing equal protection with sincerely held religious beliefs. A recent bill, Supreme Court decision, and Executive Order each show just…more

ENDA, Equal Protection, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Gender Identity

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Volcker Rule Restricts Banks' Activities with Hedge Funds and Private Funds

On December 10, 2013, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading…more

Banks, Dodd-Frank, Hedge Funds, Private Funds, Volcker Rule

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Who's Who in the CFPB: Key Players in the New Agency

Richard Cordray became the first Director of the CFPB over the summer when President Obama named him to the post through a controversial recess appointment. This came after the Senate blocked Cordray's nomination in 2011…more

CFPB, Political Appointments, Richard Cordray

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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Fracking Revenue Offsets Education Costs

Many colleges across the country are now looking directly to oil and gas as a source of much needed revenue for education. With cut-backs to state budgets, many states are strongly considering whether to allow hydraulic…more

Engineering, Fracking, Oil & Gas, Students

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Keeping the Benefit of Your Bargain: Strengthening Your Right to Prepayment Premiums

Anyone involved in commercial lending transactions is familiar with provisions of loan agreements that provide for compensation to the lender in the event the indebtedness is paid in advance of the contemplated due date. These…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, Commercial Leases

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An Overview of Tennessee Law Regarding Non-Competition Agreements

Often employers invest significant resources in training and developing employees. Prudent employers recognize that, as unfortunate as it may be, employment relationships do not always go as planned. These employers might wish…more

Consideration, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Hiring & Firing, Non-Compete Agreements

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CMBS Pre-negotiation Agreements

Pre-negotiation agreements ("PNA’s") are contractual arrangements in which a lender and a distressed borrower agree to negotiate the terms of a potential workout or settlement. The primary purpose of a PNA is to foster an open,…more

Borrowers, CMBS, Lenders, Loan Agreements, Pre-Negotiation Agreements

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Obama Legalizes Undocumented, Tweaks EB Categories

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a bold series of measures to change removal priorities, temporarily legalize and grant work authorization to millions of undocumented persons, and make some other changes to…more

Barack Obama, Deportation, DHS, F-1, Green Cards

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Expansion of Title VII Protection to LGBT Employees

As 2014 comes to a close, it has become quite clear that there is a legal trend towards expanding Title VII protection to LGBT employees. Earlier this year, the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was proposed to ban anti-gay…more

Civil Rights Act, Employee Rights, ENDA, LGBT, Title VII

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Employment Reform Legislation Passes Tennessee Legislature

On April 16, 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly, at the urging of Baker Donelson, passed significant employment litigation reform that will benefit employers throughout Tennessee. The bill places caps on compensatory damages,…more

Damages, Employer Liability Issues, Non-Pecuniary Losses, Pain and Suffering

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Recent Elections Produce Trade-Friendly Congress: U.S. Exporters Stand to Gain

Apart from the Republican takeover of the Senate, the most noteworthy result of the recent U.S. midterm elections may well be the fact that both Houses have received a substantial infusion of pro-trade members. What’s more is…more

Election Results, Exports, Free Trade Agreement, Trade Policy, Trans-Pacific Partnership

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October 31 Amendment Deadline for Bank Holding Company Tax Allocation Agreements

On June 19, 2014, the federal banking agencies issued a final Addendum to their Interagency Policy Statement on Income Tax Allocation in a Holding Company Structure which may require non-S corporation bank holding company…more

Bank Holding Company, Banks, Deadlines, Income Taxes, Tax Allocation Agreements

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Was Asbestos Used in Your Drilling Mud Program?

With the bankruptcy of dozens of traditional defendants in asbestos litigation, plaintiffs' attorneys have been creative in pursuing claims in previously untapped areas. One such area is alleged oilfield worker exposure via…more

Asbestos, Asbestos Litigation, Chemicals, Hazardous Substances, Oil & Gas

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No Damage for Delay Clauses Have Limits on Louisiana Public Works Projects

The Louisiana Public Works Act prohibits “no damage for delay” clauses in contracts for publicly bid projects. Recently, the State of Louisiana tested the boundaries of that prohibition by including a provision in a public…more

Change Orders, Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Construction Site, Contractors

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CFPB Proposes Federal Oversight of Auto Financing Companies

On September 17, 2014, noting the auto lending discrimination it has uncovered at banks, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau or CFPB) announced its plan to further extend its reach under the Dodd-Frank Act by…more

Automotive Loans, CFPB, Dodd-Frank, Loans, Nonbank Firms

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New HUD Guidance for Long Term Care Industry

On April 25, 2014, HUD issued a new Mortgagee Letter (Mortgagee Letter 2014-06) that implements revised policies with respect to master leases and portfolios for HUD-insured financing of long term care facilities. This letter…more

Commercial Leases, Financing, HUD, Leases, Long Term Care Facilities

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Sixth Circuit Upholds Ban On Same-Sex Marriage and Poses the Question: Who Should Decide?

Based on a surprising ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals last month, the validity of state bans on same-sex marriage appears headed to the Supreme Court after all. In a 2-1 decision, the court upheld state laws…more

Appeals, Same-Sex Marriage, SCOTUS

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Why Take a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure? Why Not?

So you're headed for receivership and foreclosure, when the borrower rep or your counsel asks, "What about a deed in lieu?" "I don't know," you think. "Getting a receiver appointed and foreclosing is what I'm most familiar…more

Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, Mortgages

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

See All Updates »

Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

See All Updates »

Louisiana Public Bid Law Update: Two Big Wins in the Louisiana First Circuit for Unsuccessful Bidders Disputing Public Bid Awards

Last month, the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal issued two decisions in favor of unsuccessful bidders on public projects. In Phylway Const., LLC v. Terrebonne Parish Consol. Government, 2013-1589 (La. App. 1 Cir…more

Attestation Deadlines, Bids, Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Contractors

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Summary of Senate Bill 2622 - Mississippi's Construction Lien Law

This is the first in a series of alerts exploring how this new law will affect your business. Look for more information regarding this law in the coming weeks. The bill has passed out of conference but it must be enrolled and…more

Construction Liens, Materialman's Lien

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Top 10 Recommendations to Avoid Litigation

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been targeted by plaintiff's attorneys who advertise heavily in an effort to solicit plaintiffs for malpractice suits…more

Medical Liability

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Two Recent Cases May Indicate Expansion of the NLRB’s Position Regarding Organizing Activity

In June, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Starbucks violated labor law by firing a worker, union supporter Joseph Agins, who used profanity in front of customers. In 2010, the NLRB found that Starbucks…more

Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, NLRA, NLRB, Starbucks

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To the Woodshed: Self-Defense, Defense of Others and Retaliatory Discharge

The workplace can be very tumultuous. Employees working in close quarters inevitably have disagreements, and some employees prove themselves to be disagreeable troublemakers. Workplace bullying is considered by some to be such a…more

Adverse Employment Action, Appeals, At-Will Employment, Bullying, Employer Liability Issues

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Spotlight on Bankruptcy: Basic Bankruptcy for Mortgage Litigators

Mortgage litigators often face a variety of bankruptcy issues. There are three main chapters of bankruptcy that affect the average mortgage litigator: Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11. Upon the filing of Chapter 7, Chapter…more

Automatic Stay, Consumer Bankruptcy, Mortgages

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Service Contractor's Bid Protest Blocked by Lack of LEED Experience

The lack of LEED experience cost an incumbent service contractor the ability to protest the award of a federal contract to its rival, according to an opinion released on April 22, 2014 by the United States Court of Federal…more

Bid Protests, Bids, Contractors, LEED Certified, LEED Rules

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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - Marriott Fined $600,000 For Wi-Fi Jamming - Franchisor Liability for Franchisee Employment Decisions: The NLRB’s General Counsel Addresses the Move to Expand the Joint-Employer Standard, and…more

Consent Decrees, Corporate Fines, Fast-Food Industry, Franchises, Hiring & Firing

See All Updates »

Proposed Data Reporting Rule Issued

If you are looking for some light reading these last few weeks of summer, you might want to take a look at the recently released proposed rule regarding changes to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) also known as Regulation…more

Ability-to-Repay, Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, Data Collection

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Long Term Care Providers Take Note: The Top Five Employment Law Mistakes to Avoid

Americans love top ten lists. In that love-for-lists spirit, and in an effort to be informative, we list below the top five employment law mistakes that long term care employers need to avoid. 1. Implementing a No-Fault…more

ADA, Compliance, Disability, Disability Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues

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CFPB Takes Action for Deceptive Advertisement of "Free Checking"

Although the CFPB has focused its rulemaking and enforcement actions on mortgage servicing and lending, it recently entered into a consent order with M&T Bank regarding the deceptive advertising of free checking. The deceptive…more

Advertising, Banks, CFPB, Compliance, Enforcement

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When Can Twelve Turn into Twenty-Four? Calculation of FMLA Leave for Vessel-Based Employees

The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) ensures an employee the ability to take leave and return to work within twelve “workweeks” of a qualifying event. Employers that do not honor the protections of the FMLA risk a lawsuit…more

DOL, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, Enforcement Actions, FMLA

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OSHA Update: A Tale of Two Proposed OSHA Regulations

Back in February, we mentioned that public comments were being accepted on OSHA's proposed rule that would require employers with more than 250 employees to electronically report to OSHA their OSHA 300 (the injury and illness…more

Compliance, OSHA, Recordkeeping Requirements, Reporting Requirements, Workplace Injury

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Fifth Circuit Protects Franchisors, For Now

In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s announcement that he intends to pursue unfair labor practice charges against a franchisor, franchisors are on high alert. With the NLRB considering an upheaval…more

Employee Rights, Franchises, Franchisors, Joint Employers, McDonalds

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'Tis The Season – How To Avoid Liability During The Most Wonderful Time Of Year!

With Halloween and Thanksgiving behind us, and Christmas and Hanukkah just around the corner, it is time to consider how to have a merry season, while protecting both your employees and your company. Giving forethought to this…more

Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, Harassment, Holiday Gifts, Holiday Parties

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Guns At Work In Tennessee: What Can Be Banned, What Can Probably Be Banned, And What Is Left

The Tennessee legislature's recent enactment of what has been widely named the "Guns in the Trunk" statute, codified at Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1313, has sparked debate across the state about the statute's impact on an…more

At-Will Employment, Concealed Carry Permit, Firearms, Guns-in-Trunks Legislation, Hiring & Firing

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CFPB Continues Grassroots Methods to Obtain Complaints from Borrowers

In mid-January of this year, Richard Cordray addressed mayors from around the country and explained the many ways that the CFPB is making it easier for disgruntled borrowers to lodge consumer complaints through the CFPB. At the…more

CFPB, Mortgages, Richard Cordray

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Avast! – Tankermen Held To Be Seamen Exempt From FLSA Overtime Pay Requirements

In a much and long anticipated ruling, the Fifth Circuit in Coffin v. Blessey Marine Services, Inc., No. 13-20144 (5th Cir. Nov. 13, 2014), has held as a matter of law that vessel-based tankermen (specially trained/experienced…more

Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Oil & Gas, Seamen, Unpaid Overtime

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The Ebola Outbreak and Your Workforce

With the serious Ebola outbreak in West Africa growing at alarming rates, and the first evidence of the disease reaching the United States, employers, especially those in the healthcare industry, are starting to wonder how the…more

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DOL Gives States More Control Over Self-Insured Health Plans

On November 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL) published Technical Release 2014-01, which provides technical guidance to States concerning stop-loss insurance. Stop-loss…more

DOL, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance, Self-Insured Health Plans

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Is Forum Shopping for Equal Rights on the Horizon?

Race discrimination claims brought by members of the racial majority have long been recognized as legitimate claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and various state discrimination laws. However,…more

Civil Rights Act, Forum Selection Clause, Forum Shopping, Racial Discrimination, Title VII

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Ruling Highlights Importance of State Income Tax Considerations for Section 338 Elections

In Spotlight on Tennessee: Letter Ruling Addresses Treatment of a Section 338(h)(10) Election, dated July 10, 2014, we examined how Tennessee treats the federal election under Internal Revenue Code Section 338(h)(10) for…more

Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes, Income Taxes, State Taxes

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Federal Contractors: My Baby (well, actually, the OFCCP) Just Wrote Me A Letter!!

On October 1, 2014, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) blessed a new Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing for Supply and Service contractors, which is effective…more

Affirmative Action, Contractor Audits, Federal Contractors, OFCCP, Scheduling Letters

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Surcharges in Bankruptcy - A Risk You Can Plan For?

The Bankruptcy Code is a balancing act with each section promoting one or more of three competing principles: the protection of a secured creditor's property rights, equitable and equal distribution to unsecured creditors or the…more

Bankrtupcy Surcharges, Equitable Distribution, Rule 506 Offerings, Secured Creditors

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Don't Get Caught Out in the Cold: Winter Wage Law Woes

Now that winter will soon be officially here and many parts of the country are expecting snow in the near future, employers should be mindful of how winter weather impacts wage laws. Employers should review their inclement…more

Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, Severe Weather, Wage and Hour

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Don't Let the OWBPA Put a Rift in Your RIF

Are you considering a reduction in force (RIF) that includes a severance package for employees? Are some of the employees included in the RIF over the age of 40? Before you take another step, make sure you know the requirements…more

ADEA, Employer Liability Issues, Hiring & Firing, Involuntary Reduction in Force, OWBPA

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HHS Issues Guidance on Permitted Remuneration for Prescription Refill Reminders in the Absence of Patient Authorization

On September 19, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) issued guidance on the effect of the January 25, 2013 Final Rule provision about remuneration related to prescription refill reminders and medication adherence…more

Compliance, HHS, HIPAA, HIPAA Omnibus Rule, Refill Reminders

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New Risks for Payday Lenders Under Dodd-Frank

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) imposes sweeping regulations on nearly all aspects of consumer lending. In addition to establishing these new rules, Dodd-Frank also created the Consumer…more

CFPB, Compliance, Creditors, Dodd-Frank, Payday Loans

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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OFCCP Issues Notice That Revises Pay Reporting Requirements for Federal Contractors

As part of President Obama's initiative to improve the working life of American families, the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that enhances…more

Contractors, DOL, EEO, EEO-1, EEOC

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State Attorneys General Bringing Actions Under Dodd-Frank

As the CFPB celebrates its three-year anniversary, the current trend appears to be lawsuits brought by state attorneys general or state regulators pursuant to their authority under Dodd-Frank Section 1042. Under Section 1042, a…more

Attorney Generals, Automotive Loans, CFPB, Credit Reporting Agencies, Dodd-Frank

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Playing Zone(-ing) Defense

ZONE(-ING) DEFENSE --- With March Madness in full swing, now is a great time to review how local zoning ordinances can turn a mortgage servicer’s foreclosure layup into a blocked shot. Many U.S. states rely on a judicial process…more

Foreclosure, Local Ordinance, Mortgages

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Uncivil Civil Investigative Demands

Responding to civil investigative demands (CIDs) issued by the CFPB is one of the larger challenges faced by financial institutions in acclimatizing to the new regulatory agency. Moreover, the CFPB has demonstrated that it will…more

CFPB, Civil Investigation Demand, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Investigations

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Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Whistleblower Protection Is Not Available

The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §3729 et seq. (FCA), provides for triple damages and a penalty ranging from $5,500 to $11,000 per claim for anyone who knowingly submits or causes the submission of a false or fraudulent claim to…more

Employer Liability Issues, False Claims Act, Federal Contractors, Hiring & Firing, Job Applicants

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Builder Beware! Does Your Project Infringe Someone’s Copyright?

On Friday, November 8, 2013, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which comprises Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, affirmed a $3.2 million damages award for copyright infringement in favor of Kipp…more

Architects, Construction Disputes, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Infringement

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Redskins Trademarks Cancelled - Found Disparaging to Native Americans (Again)

On June 18, 2014, in Amanda Blackhorse et al. v. Pro-Football, Inc., Cancellation No. 92046185 (TTAB 6/18/2014), the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) cancelled six trademark registrations issued between 1967 and 1990 for…more

Blackhorse v Pro-Football, Disparagement, Football, Laches, Native American Issues

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The New China and Your Company's Intellectual Property

The Chinese economy has changed dramatically in the past two, five, and even 20 years, but its intellectual property (IP) laws have only very recently developed to somewhat better deal with the new reality. The new Chinese…more

China, Corporate Counsel, Gray Market Goods, Intellectual Property Litigation, State-Owned Enterprises

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Mississippi Supreme Court Upholds the Net Operating Income Method for Determining True Value of Affordable Housing

In a much anticipated decision, on October 17, 2013, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the Income Approach to Valuation of Affordable Housing, which is a significant victory for affordable housing developers and the larger…more

Affordable Housing, Appraisal, Subsidies, Valuation

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Alabama Legislative Update – Sine Die – The 2014 Legislative Session Ends

The Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. In previous years, sessions have ended just minutes before midnight on the 30th legislative day. This year was different. As soon as both…more

Ethics, Fraud, Legislative Agendas, Lobbying

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When the Minimum is Not Enough: Eleventh Circuit Rules that Lenders May Require Borrowers to Obtain More than the Minimum Flood Insurance

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently resolved a district court split regarding minimum flood insurance coverage by holding that a lender may require a borrower who has a federally-insured mortgage…more

Corporate Counsel, FEMA, FHA, Flood Insurance, Government-Guaranteed Loans

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Bill Introduced to Curtail the Stark Law's In-Office Ancillary Services Exception

On August 1, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2914, the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act. The legislation would provide that the Stark Law's in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception is not available for…more

CMS, Healthcare, HHS, Medical Devices, Medical Expenses

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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Louisiana Town Files Second Suit to Block Oil and Gas Well

The Town of Abita Springs filed a suit on December 1, 2014, seeking a declaratory judgment to block the drilling of an oil and gas well about 40 miles north of New Orleans into the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. Earlier this year,…more

Declaratory Judgments, Oil & Gas, Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, Well Drilling

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Spotlight on Louisiana Tax Amnesty: Better to Ask for Forgiveness?

For a two-month period beginning on September 23, 2013 and ending on November 22, 2013, eligible Louisiana taxpayers may apply to wipe the slate clean with the Louisiana Department of Revenue (Department) by voluntarily paying…more

Department of Revenue, Income Taxes, Interest Rates, Tax Amnesty

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Back on the Case: Fifth Circuit Reexamines Detective's Race Suit

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that an individual show that he or she was subjected to an "adverse employment action" in order to proceed on a claim of discrimination. Courts have defined "adverse employment…more

Adverse Employment Action, Appeals, Civil Rights Act, Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues

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HUD Issues New Handbook for Long Term Care Financing Under Section 232

On May 22, 2014, HUD published a new Handbook covering its Section 232 Healthcare Insurance Mortgage Program, which insures HUD-approved lenders against financial loss from mortgage loan defaults in loans to qualifying long term…more

Healthcare, HUD, Long Term Care Facilities, Long-Term Care, Mortgages

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Summary of Senate Bill 2622 - Mississippi's Construction Lien Law

This is the first in a series of alerts exploring how this new law will affect your business. Look for more information regarding this law in the coming weeks. The bill has passed out of conference but it must be enrolled and…more

Construction Liens, Materialman's Lien

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New TILA Section Expands Disclosure Requirements

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) is a consumer protection statute that imposes mandatory disclosure requirements on creditors who extend consumer credit to borrowers. Brodo v. Bankers Trust Co., 847 F. Supp. 353 (D. Penn E.D…more

Borrowers, Creditors, Disclosure Requirements, Mortgage Loan Servicing Standards, Regulation Z

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HIPAA Settlement Underscores the Vulnerability of Unpatched and Unsupported Software

The title of this alert, which comes straight from the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights' (OCR) announcement of its most recent settlement, again underscores the critical need for covered entities…more

Business Associates, Covered Entities, HIPAA, OCR, Patient Confidentiality Breaches

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Treasury Secretary Testifies about CMBS Markets and Dodd Frank

On May 21, 2013, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in his role as Chairman of the Financial Stability Oversight Council ("FSOC") testified before the House Financial Services Committee. In its annual report, the FSOC stated that "the…more

Annual Reports, CMBS, Dodd-Frank, FSOC, U.S. Treasury

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Spotlight on Alabama: Retailers Will be Subject to Sales Tax Because of Deliveries into Local Jurisdictions

For many years, retailers subject to Alabama's sales tax have correctly avoided collecting sales taxes for those Alabama cities and counties where the retailer is not located but where the retailer nevertheless makes deliveries…more

Nexus, Retailers, Sales & Use Tax

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Recent, Significant Changes in Florida's Law of Foreclosure

On June 7, 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law House Bill 87, now known as Chapter 2013-137, which provides for substantial changes in mortgage foreclosures filed in Florida…more

Consumer Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Mortgages, New Legislation

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Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is Challenged Before the U.S. Supreme Court

A significant protection afforded by the 2005 Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is being challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court in State of Mississippi ex rel Jim Hood, Attorney General v. AU Optronics Corp, et al., No…more

CAFA, Class Action, Federal Jurisdiction, SCOTUS

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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Spotlight on Mississippi: Domestic Asset Protection Trust Legislation

Mississippi recently became the 16th state to pass legislation permitting the creation of domestic asset protection trusts. The new law was effective July 1, 2014. Under the new Mississippi Act, a domestic asset…more

Trusts

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Patent Protection for Isolated Genetic Sequences Upheld in Australia

Last year in AMP v Myriad Genetics, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that isolated, naturally occuring DNA are not patent eligible, which caused considerable consternation in the biotech community. However, this does not appear…more

AMP v Myriad, Australia, BRCA, DNA, Genetic Materials

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AAPL To Release New Operating Agreement Form

The American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) anticipates the release of the newest Operating Agreement format specifically related to horizontal drilling. Beginning in 1956 the AAPL has promulgated a standard format…more

Oil & Gas, Operating Agreements

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Supreme Court Puts Raging Bull Copyright Back in the Ring

This month, the U.S. Supreme Court in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. revived copyright infringement claims based on the motion picture Raging Bull, and in the process may have killed the "discovery rule" for when a…more

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, MGM, Petrella v. MGM, Raging Bull

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Tennessee Proposes Fracturing Practices for Oil and Gas Wells

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's (TEDC) proposed rules regarding fracturing practices for oil and gas wells have received approval by the Joint Government Operation Committee in the Tennessee General…more

Fracking, Oil & Gas

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Carving Out Small

States have been vested with the responsibility to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages since the repeal of Prohibition. In carrying out this authority, many states have implemented a three…more

Breweries, Distributors, Franchise Agreements, Manufacturers, Retailers

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Taking Time to Give Thanks and Review Your Estate Plan

As you take time to give thanks this holiday season, it may be time for you to consider how you will show your family your appreciation. Keeping your estate planning documents and beneficiary designations up-to-date is one of…more

Estate Planning, Year-End Planning

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Sparta to Memphis: Bruce McMullen Shares His Path to Success

Bruce McMullen is a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Memphis office and focuses his practice in health care law and commercial litigation. Over the years, Bruce has built a successful career, earning an AV® Preeminent™ Peer…more

Career Development

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RESPA Amendment Changes Rules, Deadlines Regarding Errors Communications

In July of 2010, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was amended by Congress to reduce the time period from twenty days to five days for a servicer to acknowledge receipt of a qualified written request, and from…more

CFPB, Mortgage Servicers, Mortgages, New Amendments, Notice Requirements

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

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“Materially Less”: The Foreclosure Deficiency Standard in Tennessee

Like many other states, Tennessee allows a creditor who has conducted a foreclosure sale of real property secured by a deed of trust or mortgage to recover "a deficiency judgment in an amount sufficient to satisfy fully the…more

Debt, Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Mortgages

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Texas City Council Rejects Fracking Ban

On July 16, 2014, the City Council of Denton, Texas rejected an ordinance that would prohibit hydraulic fracturing. The initiative will now be considered by the Denton residents in the November election. Earlier this year, the…more

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Alabama Legislative Update – Sine Die – The 2014 Legislative Session Ends

The Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. In previous years, sessions have ended just minutes before midnight on the 30th legislative day. This year was different. As soon as both…more

Ethics, Fraud, Legislative Agendas, Lobbying

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11th Circuit Affirms No Indemnity for a Subcontractor's Deceased Employee Under Employee Exclusion Contained in General Contractor's Commercial General Liability Insurance Policy

On April 24, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit issued an opinion affirming summary judgment deny a claim by the estate of a subcontractor's employee against a general contractor's commercial general…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, General Contractors, Indemnification, Subcontractors, Wrongful Death

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Five Things to Consider When Expanding in a Global Market

More and more oil and gas companies, based in the United States or elsewhere, are considering a venture into foreign waters (or land). Following is a list of just a few issues that could impact expansion efforts. …more

Compliance, FCPA, Foreign Currency, Fraud, Oil & Gas

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The Effect of California's New Privacy Laws on Your Company

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on September 30, three amendments to California's privacy laws of which every business must be aware. The amendments to the Civil Code (i) significantly broaden the scope of…more

Breach Notification Rule, Data Protection, Identity Theft, Jerry Brown, New Legislation

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Mitigating Successor Liability in Long Term Care Acquisitions

As in any business acquisition, purchasers in the long term care industry can encounter potential liability due to employment claims, seller violations of representations and warranties under the purchase agreement, tort…more

Long-Term Care, Succession Planning, Successor Liability

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Georgia Legislature Clarifies Service of Process Statute for Georgia Domestic and Foreign Corporations Doing Business in Georgia

On July 1, 2013, clarifying changes to Georgia’s Civil Practice Act went into effect regarding how a plaintiff can accomplish service of civil process against a Georgia corporation, as well as foreign corporations doing business…more

Foreign Corporations, New Legislation, Service of Process

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Old E-Verify Data: Download it or Lose It

USCIS is giving participating employers the chance, in the final quarter of every calendar year starting now, to download for employers' storage E-Verify records older than 10 years before USCIS destroys those historical records…more

E-Verify, I-9, ICE, Immigration Records, USCIS

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On My Bookshelf: Flash Boys

In the spring of 2007, Brad Katsuyama, a successful New York banker at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), thought something was wrong with his computer. He was trying to buy 10,000 shares of Intel, offered at $22. But the moment he…more

Flash Boys, High Frequency Trading, SEC, Wall Street

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Employers of Home Care Workers to Begin Paying Overtime in January 2015

The United States Department of Labor issued a final rule, extending the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to home health care workers who provide care for the sick, disabled or elderly, otherwise known as…more

Caregivers, Employee Rights, FLSA, Unpaid Overtime, Wage and Hour

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City Spotlight: New Orleans

The New Orleans Women's Initiative kicked off "Women on Wednesdays," a series of four events to address strategies for better living. The first event on April 30 featured a dynamic panel discussion, moderated by Baker Donelson…more

Women's Initiative

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U.S. Supreme Court Bartlett Decision in Favor of Generic Drug Manufacturers

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court held that state law design defect claims against manufacturers of generic pharmaceuticals are preempted by federal law when the claim hinges on the adequacy of the drug's…more

Design Defects, Drug Manufacturers, Generic Drugs, Pharmaceutical, Preemption

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DOL Gives States More Control Over Self-Insured Health Plans

On November 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL) published Technical Release 2014-01, which provides technical guidance to States concerning stop-loss insurance. Stop-loss…more

DOL, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance, Self-Insured Health Plans

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Healthcare Asset Class: a Dubious CMBS Distinction for an Industry in Flux

Although healthcare properties have historically provided the smallest share of collateral used for backing CMBS transactions (currently only 0.47%), according to the most recent report from Moody’s Investors Service,…more

Acute Facilities, Asset Class, Assisted Living Facility, Commercial Real Estate Market, Healthcare Facilities

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DOL Gives States More Control Over Self-Insured Health Plans

On November 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL) published Technical Release 2014-01, which provides technical guidance to States concerning stop-loss insurance. Stop-loss…more

DOL, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance, Self-Insured Health Plans

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A Not-So-Happy Valentine's Day for UAW and Its Continued Efforts to Feel the Love

On February 14, 2014, the results of a NLRB-conducted unionization vote by Volkswagen workers at the Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant were released. Plant workers voted 712-626 against representation by the United Auto Workers…more

Automotive Industry, NLRA, NLRB, Unions

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Force Majeure Clauses: Protecting Against the Unforeseeable

Force majeure clauses are a very important, but often overlooked, provision in all contracts, and are particularly important in construction and supply contracts. Whether a force majeure clause is included in a contract, and the…more

Construction Contracts, Force Majeure Clause

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Supreme Court Affirms Computerizing Fundamental Economic Practice Too Abstract To Be Patentable

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd v. CLS Bank International unanimously continued its recent trend of finding certain patent claims too abstract to be patentable. The patents in question contained…more

Alice Corporation, CLS Bank, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Mayo v. Prometheus, Patent Litigation

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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Spring 2014

In This Issue: - Your Grandmother Doesn’t Work for Free: Volunteer and Intern Positions Under Closer Scrutiny - Excessive Celebration – Penalty Declined - Four Crisis Management Lessons from the…more

Class Action, Crisis Management, DOL, FLSA, Fourth Amendment

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NLRB General Counsel Office: McDonald's, USA, LLC and Its Franchisees Are Joint Employers

The National Labor Relations Board Office of Public Affairs announced on July 29, 2014 that the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has authorized complaints against McDonalds, USA, LLC (McDonald's) and various…more

Employer Liability Issues, Franchises, Franchisors, Joint Employers, McDonalds

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Get Your Ducks in a Row: Thoughts on Foreclosure of Securitized Debt in Alabama

Alabama remains one of the simplest jurisdictions in the country for commercial foreclosure. Nevertheless, foreclosure in Alabama can quickly become expensive if a lender does not carefully follow the letter of the law and…more

Debt, Foreclosure, Securitization

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

See All Updates »

Key Operating & Equipment, Inc. v. Hegar Case Study

On June 20, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court held that an oil and gas production company, Key Operating & Equipment, Inc. (“Key”), had the right of access on an adjacent tract of land that is part of a pooled drilling unit. Key…more

Oil & Gas, Right of Access, Well Drilling

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Cordray's House Testimony Signals Areas of CFPB Focus

On June 18, 2014, CFPB Director Richard Cordray appeared before the House Financial Services Committee to testify about his agency's fifth Semi-Annual Report. As in past hearings, Cordray and House Republicans clashed over the…more

CFPB, Congressional Investigations & Hearings, Discrimination, Enforcement, Financial Services Committee

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Q & A: ICANN's Global Trademark Clearinghouse

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body tasked with coordinating and preserving global Internet stability, is embarking on its largest expansion ever of the domain name system. Last week, on…more

Domain Names, gTLD, ICANN, Registration, Trademark Clearinghouse

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For Convenience Store Chains in Georgia, Leasing Business Operations to Separate Entity Can Maximize Recovery in Condemnations

In Georgia, when a convenience store chain both owns and operates a location, it should lease business operations to a separate legal entity to maximize recovery in the event of a partial condemnation. In limited…more

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HHS: Providers May Be Able to Subsidize Premiums For Uninsured in Marketplace Plans

An announcement October 30 from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could remove the first hurdle for providers wishing to offer premium support for individuals eligible for health insurance on the Health…more

Affordable Care Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges, Healthcare

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Supreme Court Rulings Help Defendants in Patent Infringement Suits

The U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions in two major patent infringement cases today, overturning Federal Circuit Court of Appeals rulings on the standards for proving patent vagueness and induced infringement. Summaries of each…more

Limelight, Limelight Networks, Nautilus Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation

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Hydraulic Fracturing Continues to Produce More Legislation and Oversight

As U.S. oil and gas production has dramatically increased due to the more frequent use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to release tight oil and gas, new state legislation and rules around oil and gas drilling…more

Energy, Fracking, Natural Gas, Oil & Gas

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President Obama Signs Several Bills Aimed at Cybersecurity

On December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed several significant cybersecurity bills into law. These bills include the Federal Information Security Modernization Act, the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act, the…more

Barack Obama, Cybersecurity, New Legislation, Popular

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

See All Updates »

Four Tips for Responding to a Civil Investigative Demand: A Report from the Trenches

Simply being served with a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) means enormous financial strain and reputational risk for some companies. On top of that, in this heightened regulatory environment, federal agencies seem to be trying…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, CID, Data Retention, Document Productions, Enforcement Actions

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7 Intellectual Property Mistakes Startup Entrepreneurs Often Make

What’s the biggest mistake startup entrepreneurs make with respect to their intellectual property, and what can they do to fix it? That’s the question we recently put to IP attorneys writing on JD Supra, knowing that the…more

Business Formation, Copyright, First-to-File, Legal Perspectives, Patents

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Top 10 Recommendations to Avoid Litigation

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been targeted by plaintiff's attorneys who advertise heavily in an effort to solicit plaintiffs for malpractice suits…more

Medical Liability

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New Texas Law Hopes to Eliminate the Barriers to Recycling Fracking Wastewater

Following a unanimous vote of approval in both the House and Senate and signature of Governor Rick Perry, House Bill 2767 will go into effect in Texas on September 1, 2013…more

Drilling Waste Disposal, Fracking, Oil & Gas, Wastewater

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Lender Liability for Assessments in Florida

Foreclosing lenders in Florida frequently take title to properties that are subject to homeowners' and condominium association assessments. Just as frequently, the newly-titled lender is presented with a bill from the…more

Condominium Associations, Condominiums, Foreclosure, Homeowners' Association

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Ruling Highlights Importance of State Income Tax Considerations for Section 338 Elections

In Spotlight on Tennessee: Letter Ruling Addresses Treatment of a Section 338(h)(10) Election, dated July 10, 2014, we examined how Tennessee treats the federal election under Internal Revenue Code Section 338(h)(10) for…more

Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes, Income Taxes, State Taxes

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Sixth Circuit Reminds Employers of Notice Requirement Under the FMLA

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently upheld a ruling that FedEx interfered with a former employee's rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by failing to give her adequate notice of the…more

Appeals, Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, FedEx, FMLA

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Florida to Government: Your Lien Doesn't Foreclose This Old Mortgage

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that cities cannot create ordinances that subject prior recorded mortgages to their subsequently recorded county or governmental liens, because it conflicts with Florida's state statutes on…more

Foreclosure, Liens, Local Ordinance, Mortgages, Municipalities

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CFPB Refines Mortgage Rules to Resolve Conflicts and Inconsistencies

On October 15, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interim final rule and bulletin refining and making technical changes to certain provisions of its January 2013 mortgage rules. The interim rule…more

CFPB, Conflict Resolution, Consumer Bankruptcy, FDCPA, Mortgages

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Texas Supreme Court Reinforces that Subcontractors May be Liable to Property Owners

On August 22, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that both the trial court and the court of appeals improperly dismissed a property owner's claim for negligence against a subcontractor for improper plumbing installation in…more

Breach of Duty, Contractors, Duty of Care, Negligence, Property Owners

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

See All Updates »

Summary of Senate Bill 2622 - Mississippi's Construction Lien Law

This is the first in a series of alerts exploring how this new law will affect your business. Look for more information regarding this law in the coming weeks. The bill has passed out of conference but it must be enrolled and…more

Construction Liens, Materialman's Lien

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Waive Goodbye to Confirmation Hurdle! Recent Decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals Gives Lenders an Alternate Route to Collect Post-Foreclosure Deficiency From Guarantors

By most accounts, a decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals last September represents a sea change in the law governing judicial confirmation of foreclosure sales and post-foreclosure deficiency claims. Indeed, the Court's…more

Appeals, Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Guarantors, Mortgages

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Guns at Work in Tennessee, Part II: Clear as Mud?

The Tennessee legislature's enactment of Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 39-17-1313 (also known as the "Guns in the Trunk" legislation) has sparked wide debate among employers and employees alike regarding the interpretation of…more

Employer No-Weapons Policies, Firearms, Gun Laws

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Between the "Like" Button and a Hard Place: Understanding the Implications of Hulu's Latest Argument Against User's Privacy Allegations

Companies commonly utilize Facebook as part of their online social media advertising strategy. Companies should revisit this strategy in light of a recent finding in the Northern California U.S. District Court (In re Hulu…more

Advertising, Data Protection, Facebook, Hulu, Online Videos

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Volcker Rule Restricts Banks' Activities with Hedge Funds and Private Funds

On December 10, 2013, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading…more

Banks, Dodd-Frank, Hedge Funds, Private Funds, Volcker Rule

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New OSHA Guidance – Roadmap to Complying with its Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard

Although OSHA implemented its Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard (29 C.F.R. 1926 Subpart CC) back in 2010, it just now released its directive for how OSHA inspectors should enforce that rule. Multiple layers of legal…more

Building Standards, Construction Cranes, Construction Industry, OSHA, Safety Precautions

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Spotlight on Mississippi: Supreme Court Rules on Combined Group Member Tax Credits

The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled against the Mississippi Department of Revenue (Department) in its appeal of a 2012 decision by the Harrison County Chancery Court in favor of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. (Isle of…more

Department of Revenue, State Taxes, Tax Credits

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Receiverships in Georgia

In addition to Georgia's relatively swift non-judicial foreclosure process, lenders with a defaulting borrower in Georgia have the option of seeking a receivership over property securing their loans. A court-appointed receiver…more

Receivership

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U.S. Supreme Court Bartlett Decision in Favor of Generic Drug Manufacturers

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court held that state law design defect claims against manufacturers of generic pharmaceuticals are preempted by federal law when the claim hinges on the adequacy of the drug's…more

Design Defects, Drug Manufacturers, Generic Drugs, Pharmaceutical, Preemption

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Multiple Dangers of Meth Labs in Hotels

A quick Internet search sheds a bright light on the dangers to hotels if guest rooms are used for methamphetamine, or "meth," production. There are dangers related to contamination and its impact on other guests, as well as…more

Contaminated Properties, Hotels, Meth Labs, Methamphetamine, Safety Precautions

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Tennessee Court of Appeals Confirms Foreclosures Cannot Be the Basis for a TCPA Claim

On September 25, 2012, the Middle Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals issued an opinion confirming that foreclosure proceedings cannot serve as the basis for a Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claim…more

Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, MERS, Mortgages, SunTrust

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Nursing Home Reporting of Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime in a Long Term Care Facility

Nursing facilities, skilled nursing facilities, hospices that provide services in long term care facilities and independent living facilities that provide services for the developmentally disabled ("facilities") are required to…more

Affordable Care Act, Elder Abuse, Elder Issues, Healthcare, Medical Liability

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New Anti-Corruption Law to Take Effect in Brazil

With the continued ongoing work to exploit the discoveries in the Lula (Tupi) field and the recently announced 2013 subsalt strike in the Campos and Santos basins off Brazil's southern coast, oil and gas exploration and…more

Anti-Bribery, Anti-Corruption, Brazil, Clean Companies Act, Compliance

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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Spring 2014

In This Issue: - Your Grandmother Doesn’t Work for Free: Volunteer and Intern Positions Under Closer Scrutiny - Excessive Celebration – Penalty Declined - Four Crisis Management Lessons from the…more

Class Action, Crisis Management, DOL, FLSA, Fourth Amendment

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Challenging the Denial of a Trademark Application in District Court Just Got More Expensive

In Shammas v. Focarino, the Eastern District of Virginia holds that an applicant must pay the government attorney's fees regardless of the applicant's success in a Section 1071(b) civil matter. …more

Applications, Attorney's Fees, Litigation Fees & Costs, Trademark Litigation, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

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Diversity Matters: Note from the Editor - Civil Rights Act of 1964

On July 2 of this year, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 enjoyed its 50th anniversary – an appropriate time for reflection. Prior to the passage of this Act, for more than 180 years, from July 4, 1776, until July 2, 1964, it…more

Civil Rights Act, Discrimination, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

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Immigration Corner

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently implemented security measures for the application for Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) required for those traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver…more

Airlines, Customs and Border Protection, DHS, ESTA, L-1B

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Big Win for our Florida team in U.S. Bank N.A. v. Bartram

In U.S. Bank N.A. v. Bartram, ____ So.3d ____, 2014 WL 1632138 (Fla. 5th DCA April 25, 2014), the Fifth District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida reversed a decision from the Circuit Court of St. Johns County addressing…more

Accelerated Payments, Default, Foreclosure, Mortgages, Statute of Limitations

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Featuring: Off-the-Record Mentoring

A structured, formal mentoring plan is an important part of any female professional's career path. Helping the next generation of female leaders through mentoring has been shown to be enormously helpful to both parties. However,…more

Career Development, Young Lawyers

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The U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Extraterritorial Lawsuit Against Shell Oil

The United States Supreme Court, in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, recently restricted the scope of the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350 (“ATS”), a 224-year-old law often used to invoke jurisdiction in suing corporations…more

Alien Tort Statute, Extraterritoriality Rules, Human Rights, Jurisdiction, SCOTUS

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Six Months in Review: Florida Case Law

Florida has witnessed developments in three areas of mortgage foreclosure litigation already this year. The opinions offered by various courts of appeal have come at a time when litigants crave guidance more than ever, but the…more

Banks, Business Records, Foreclosure, Mortgages, Statute of Limitations

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Proper Use of Letters of Intent

The parties to purchase or lease transactions involving long term care facilities frequently sign letters of intent as a preliminary step in completing the transaction. Drafted carefully, letters of intent enhance the…more

Confidentiality, Leases, Letters of Intent, Long Term Care Facilities, Negotiations

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SEC Issues Guidance on its 2014 Examination Priorities

Each year, the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examination's National Exam Program (NEP) issues a letter communicating to investors and registrants the areas that the staff perceives to present heightened risks. This…more

Compliance, Enforcement Actions, Fraud, NEP, SEC

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HHS Issues Guidance on Permitted Remuneration for Prescription Refill Reminders in the Absence of Patient Authorization

On September 19, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) issued guidance on the effect of the January 25, 2013 Final Rule provision about remuneration related to prescription refill reminders and medication adherence…more

Compliance, HHS, HIPAA, HIPAA Omnibus Rule, Refill Reminders

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Per NLRB, Employees May Use Company Email For Union Organizing

On December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), through a divided panel, held that employees may use employer-provided email systems for union organizing. Specifically, the NLRB held "employee use of email for…more

Email, NLRB, Protected Concerted Activity, Purple Communications, Unions

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Autozone's Predicament: A $185 Million Punitive Damage Award

The record $185 million punitive damage award by a California jury in November 2014 against AutoZone has been widely reported. This huge verdict raises immediate questions: How did this happen? What circumstances led the jury to…more

AutoZone, Damages, Discrimination, Juror, Jury Awards

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Time Saver Savvy – Helpful Tips for the Busy Professional

A colleague and I took a seminar on time management for working mothers some 20 years ago. We met each other at the hotel conference room, rushing in at the last minute just as did every other woman in attendance – approximately…more

Law Practice Management, Women in the Law, Young Lawyers

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Spotlight on Louisiana: Low Tax Cost Ranks Louisiana in Top Ten for Business

A 2012 report by KPMG and the Tax Foundation called "Location Matters: a Comparative Analysis of State Tax Costs on Business" shows Louisiana as having the tenth- lowest overall state and local tax cost for "mature businesses"…more

Business Taxes, Local Taxes, State Taxes

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Q & A: ICANN's Global Trademark Clearinghouse

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body tasked with coordinating and preserving global Internet stability, is embarking on its largest expansion ever of the domain name system. Last week, on…more

Domain Names, gTLD, ICANN, Registration, Trademark Clearinghouse

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Rise in misclassification suits and DOL audits quite a fright: what an employer can do to prepare

Few things are more frightening to an employer than a worker misclassification suit. Perhaps a Department of Labor audit over wage and hour issues may be just as scary. One thing is for sure: disagreements about how workers are…more

Audits, Discrimination, DOL, Enforcement Actions, Misclassification

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Supreme Court Finds NLRB Recess Appointments Invalid

In a highly anticipated decision, NLRB v. Noel Canning, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held yesterday that three of President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were invalid because they…more

Canning v NLRB, NLRB, NRLA, Recess Appointments, SCOTUS

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Sound, Speed, and Distance - The Second Circuit Allows Use of SVDR Data as Evidence in Maritime Casualty

In a Summary Order dated March 13, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for Second Circuit affirmed a summary judgment of the Southern District of New York, which ruled in favor of a vessel owner based on data of the ship's…more

Data Recovery, Evidence, Telecommunications, Vessels

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Nuisance Claims Becoming More Than a Mere Nuisance in Texas

Plaintiffs Bob and Lisa Parr obtained a $2.9 million verdict in April 2014 against Aruba Petroleum, Inc. for health problems allegedly related to oil and gas drilling operations and air emissions near their home. The large…more

Energy, Nuisance, Oil & Gas, Well Drilling

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Areas of Practice
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Finance & Banking
  • Government
  • Health
  • Immigration Law
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Maritime Law
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Products Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Science, Computers, & Tech
  • Taxation
  • Transportation
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
See more
Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • Alabama
  • D.C.
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
Other Countries
  • United Kingdom
Number of Attorneys

400+ Attorneys

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